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CRITICISMS AND DISCUSSIONS.
THE MYTHOLOGICAL HEBREW TERMS EXPLAINED
BY THE SANSKRIT.
An Essay in Comparative Philology and Mythology.
[Mr. O. Neufchotz de Jassy's article presents a very original and novel
theory, the derivation of Israelitish notions and names from Sanskrit sources.
If it be true, it would open a new vista to comparative religion and folklore,
but if it be a mere ingenious conceit, it remains none the less interesting and
will even prove instructive because it teaches us how many purely haphazard
coincidences can be discovered if we only seek zealously for them, being
permitted to adjust them ever so little to make them suit the occasion. What
remarkable combinations can be found in the Cabbala, and other mystic books !
We do not deem it likely that Hebrew scholars will readily take to M. de
Jassy's theory, but they will be astonished to note how easily, for instance,
the plural form Elohim which has given so much trouble to Biblical exegetes
can be changed into a veritable singular without changing a letter in the
text, simply by a modification of the vowels, superadded to the text by later
generations. And what a remarkable coincidence, if such it be, is the fact
that the name Noah (in Hebrew Nowak) might very well according to its
sound be a derivative from the same Aryan root from which sprang the words
nauta, sailor, navis, ship, navigate, to sail, etc. !
The three consonants N V K correspond exactly to the root of navigate,
N V G, and it would not be impossible that the Persians, who are an Aryan
people, called the Babylonian Parnapishtim, the hero of the Babylonian
Deluge legend, in their own language "the seafaring one," and that the Jews
adopted that name. At any rate we may concede that the word Noah is not
Hebrew and its derivation from the Hebrew noakh* "rest," is not tenable.
We can not say that we have become convinced by M. de Jassy, but we
trust that our readers will be as interested as we have been, in noting these
many surprising coincidences. — Ed.]
I propose to show in this essay that almost every mythological
Hebrew term in Genesis finds a similar term in the mythology of
the Hindus, and that the similarity of the terms has as corollary an
CRITICISMS AND DISCUSSIONS. 127
absolute concordance of the myths. I will show further that most
of the Hebrew terms even of less importance are derived from
Sanskrit roots and that there is without doubt a narrow relation-
ship between the Sanskrit and the Hebrew languages.
The results of this essay may be a copious harvest of surprises.
Many terms whose explanation has been more or less doubtful will
find a definite solution, other terms will show that they conflict ob-
viously with the primitive significations scholars have given to
them. The whole mythological web and woof may change in
its intrinsic form, and people will be surprised to suddenly find the
reconstruction of the mythology of the Hebrews, accidentally lost
or intentionally destroyed.
It may be that scholars will hesitate to follow us in the new
orientation given to the methods of explaining words and myths
per analogiam — especially those scholars whose theological con-
victions harmonize with their scientific conceptions; but by deeper
examination of scientific facts and the result that necessarily fol-
lows, they cannot but consider very curious these numerous coin-
Let us take one or two examples:
The word Shadai or Shaddai is translated by all scholars "the
almighty," and El shadai, 1 "the almighty God." Our method per
analogiam will show that this translation is absolutely false. More
than that, it will show that the similarity of the Sanskrit and the
Hebrew words reveals a mythological fact that was unknown until
the present time.
Let us see for instance whence Shadai is derived. It comes
from the verb shadod, 2 "to destroy."
Shadai, then, means "destroyer" and El shadai, "the God of
Let us now investigate the root of the verb shadod, which is
shad. What does shad mean in Sanskrit? To subdue, to van-
quish, to destroy. Hence the root is the same. Let us now see
what shadia means in Sanskrit. It means "the destroyer" and is
an epithet of Shiva. El shadai is therefore Shiva-Shadia. Is this
a coincidence? Let us go further, let us follow it to its last con-
sequences. Let us see how the worshipers of Shiva adored Shiva,
and how the worshipers of El-Shadai adored El-Shadai. This
comparison will be the more interesting because it has never before
1 -m 5K s ~nx
128 THE MONIST.
The worshipers of the Hindu Shadai, of Shiva, put on their left
arm a little receptacle or a ring containing the united linga and yoni.
We do not need to observe that Shiva represents both lust and
destruction, or destruction and reconstruction.
The Jews have the same custom even in our time. They put
on the left arm a little black box (Shadai or Shiva represents the
dark color, the night). On two sides of this receptacle the letter
sheen, s representmg the word Shadai, is embossed. It is presumable
that this little box, called baith, "the house," contained originally
the same priapic emblems replaced later by the Talmudists with
a few texts taken from the Bible. The Talmudic rabbis changed
even the name of these boxes 4 called formerly Totuphath (the
etymology is unknown) to Tephilim (Greek, philacteries), "prayer-
It is needless to add that the Jews were worshipers of the
phallic cult, that the covenant between El-Shadai and Abraham
is a phallic one etc. We will only observe that the phallic worship
comes from the Hindus and that Shiva especially was narrowly
and brutally connected with this worship.
So inveterate was this cult of Shadai-Shiva with the Jews that
neither the efforts of the Jehovists nor time itself could destroy it.
Even to-day on the doors of every orthodox Jew may be seen a
little cylindrical box of glass or metal bearing the name Shadai,
and the women in childbed are surrounded by little papers bearing
the name of Shadai. Certainly the signification is lost, like the
signification of the fish that Catholics eat on Friday, like so many
religious or superstitious significations.
It there also a strange coincidence in the similarity of the
Let us now take an example of less importance, the word Miz-
rdim? Egypt. Let us remove the plural ending or rather the dual
form aim. We obtain the word Mizr. Let us now see what misr
means in Sanskrit. 6 Misr, from misra, signifies "combined, united,
jointed places." Misr in Sanskrit means Egypt (the upper and the
lower, hence the dual form in Hebrew). It would be idle to con-
'There are two, one for the forehead and one for the arm. The wor-
shipers of Vishnu also put a kind of trident called the Nachman on their
" See M. Monier Williams, A Sanskrit Dictionary.
CRITICISMS AND DISCUSSIONS. 120,
Before I go further I would observe that this essay contains
nothing but a few outlines of an important work in preparation
that requires time, patience and depth of research.
The first mythological surprise arising from a study of com-
parative philology and mythology meets us in the well-known
triade : Bereshith bora Elohim 1 : "In the beginning the Gods created."
These three words in the beginning of Genesis, have always
been the stumbling-block of Jewish and Christian scholars. Why
is Elohim in the plural, and why is the verb in the singular? — The
most fantastic comments were given to this grammatical anomaly.
Petrus Lombardus went so far as to try to prove the trinity in this —
pluralis majestatis, and Rudolph Stier invented for this purpose
a new grammatical term the pluralis trinitatis. — The most subtle
comments were given and the most ingenious. However, scholars
were mistaken; the ground for their mistake lies in the fact that
they reasoned with casuistry rather than scientifically.
From the standpoint of comparative mythology, we do not see
in any other theogony a similar conventional plural form, though
the highest gods of the Hindus, Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians,
Greeks and Romans represent a plurality of the most various epithets.
Savitri is Praja-Pati, is Indra, Rudra, Agni, Soma, Vishnu etc.
The Babylonian Marduk possesses fifty names of the great gods
that had been conferred upon him ; he is Bel and Ea and Anu and
Nebo, Enlil and Nergal etc. Nevertheless they ignore this pluralis
majestatis of the noun agreeing with a verb in the singular form.
Zeus, Jupiter, Osiris etc. possess the same richness of divine epithets,
and the Greeks especially were certainly a people of refined and
high courtesy in regard to their gods. When we see a disagreement
between the divine noun and the verb, it is rather in the singular
of the first and the plural of the latter. And this fact happens in
Genesis only when Elohim — who, we will see immediately, is not
Elohim at all — is speaking to himself, takes council with himself.
"Let us make a man in our image." 8 But in the narrative the
singular of the verb is always used.
No, this pluralis majestatis of Elohim is not to be taken seri-
Another more important question arises which, as we will see,
is in close connection with the first.
7 nvwx toa nrwro 8 Tarawa onx rror;
I3O THE MONIST.
How is it possible that whereas all other cosmogonies begin
with the creation of the gods, the Bible alone shows us a Deus ex
machina, ready made, without indicating how he was created or
of what matter he was formed?
As we said both questions are closely connected. Both are in-
cluded in the same word, and the double explanation will be found
in the etymology of Elohim itself. It will show us for instance
that the plural form of Elohim is not a plural at all ; it will show us
further how the God of Genesis zvas created before he became
creator in his turn.
Elohim is composed of two words, 8 and the explanation lies
in their separation. El being now in the singular form, the verb
bara, "created," agrees with the noun in the most natural way. El
bara, "El created." This is the first solution.
The other is most interesting, although it seems more compli-
cated in its exposition and final deductions.
El haiom, the Seagod.
El being El haiom, the Seagod, the God who started from the
water, we discover to our surprise the most interesting mythological
phenomenon, viz., that the same fate that governs the gods of all the
theogonies, governs also the Hebrew El.
In all the cosmogonies the first factor of creation starts from
water. Water is the origin of the universe. The earth originates
from water, and as we will see El means "earth." The heaven
itself is nothing else but water as the word shamaim indicates and
as we will see later. All creatures, beasts and birds, formed by El
haiom, are made of water (see Genesis).
The scribe of the Bible is guilty of this little fault of contraction
that concealed during centuries how the God of Genesis was created
and the Masoretic doctors — perhaps Ezra before them — impregnated
with Jehovistic ideas, did nothing toward revealing the mistake —
rather did everything to hide it, — and they voweled the contracted
words with the point-vowels Elohim, which thus became a plural
El from the Standpoint of Comparative Philology and Mythology.
But let us examine thoroughly the two words from the stand-
point of comparative philology and mythology.
Hebrew, El; Sanskrit, il; Babyl. Elu; Phoenic. ila; Arab, ilah,
allah ; Greek, ^Atos ; Lat. Sol.
CRITICISMS AND DISCUSSIONS. 131
El then means earth and is to the Hebrews as Elu is to the
Babylonians, Helios to the Greeks, and Sol to the Romans, at first
a terrestrial god par excellence. And as Elu becomes a heavenly
god, as Helios becomes a heavenly god representing the Sun, as
Sol becomes a heavenly god on the same condition as Helios, El
will become a heavenly god, as we will see later, though he will
remain the terrestrial god, occupied with the general affairs of
mankind like the other gods, at least those who started from the
waters and who became friends, teachers and saviours of mankind.
This fact brings El in near connection with the corresponding gods
of the other nations as will be seen when we shall have studied his
Iam, n\ Mai, •>», Maia.
Iam in Hebrew means "sea," (ha is the article). The inversion
of iam is mai, Assyr. mei, "water." The corresponding term in
Sanskrit is maia.
The mythological result obtained from the philological analogy
of Mai and Maia is as conclusive as it is interesting.
Maia is the water and the mother of Brahma (earth, at first
a demiurgus like El). Mai, the inversion of iam, is the water and
the mother of El. El is therefore identical with Brahma as he is
identical with Elu, Helios, Sol.
Every divine being with the Hindus has his Maia. Every divine
being in the theogonies of the other nations has his Maia. Moses
has his Mar-jam (the "drop of the sea," i. e., the water). Christ
has his Maia (Latin mare, maris, whence Mari-a, the a forming
the feminine). The mother of Bacchus, the saviour of mankind,
was Myrrha or Maia. The mother of Hermes, Krishna, Buddha,
Adonis etc., was called Myrrha or Maia; Maia, Maria (a pleonasm
form of Maia) was also called the mother of the Siamese Savior,
Mai or Maia represents here as there the productive power of
the female principle. The first factor born of it is the male, who
becomes creator in his turn. Every saviour of mankind is therefore
a firstborn. He is also a virgin-bora, because Maya, the mother,
produced him without fecondation by the male principle. But the
male principle of fecundation in nature being the sun, or the fire
representing the sun, all Earthgods will represent the sun: El,
Brahma, Elu, Helios, Sol, etc. The most characteristic illustration
of the fire residing in the water as the lightning resides in the
132 THE MONIST.
clouds, gives us the Vedic sacrifice whence the Christian communion
is borrowed. Both offerings, the sacred liquor Soma and the cake
prepared of butter and flower, are presented to the holy fire. Agni
(the fire-god) resides in both. The chalice contains also the mother
of Agni, Maia, because Maia, the flame, can start from Maia, the
We have seen that Mai or Maia are identical terms with iden-
tical significations and represent similar mythical personifications.
The root of the words lorn (Yama, Yamuni) will show us other
mythical similarities with El-ha-iom, which will appear to be new
personalities, but which are really the same as the deities already
mentioned. The root of torn is the Sanskrit yu, the same as of the
lorn and Ioni having the same root, have also the same sig-
nification. Yoni or Yonis means the womb, the matrix, the life-
giving element, the water. Although representing the female organ
of generation, both torn and yoni are of a masculine form. It is
true that the later Sanskrit uses Yoni as both masculine and fem-
inine. But Yoni is rarely feminine in the older language. Iotn
in Hebrew is always masculine: Iotn hagadol etc.
This curious linguistic phenomenon showing the words yoni
and iotn, which are representing the female organ, in a masculine
form, is observed also with the word mata, mother, that is masculine
in Rig- Veda. More than that, in the Georgian language mama
The reason of this strange phenomenon may be found in the
fact that these words were created in a matriarchal epoch, when the
mother, having the entire care of her children, who often ignored
their father, represented the acting personality, the nourisher and
defender, the strength, the male, the father.
The life-giving Yom or Yoni, the nurses of all living creatures,
are in the same case. El-ha-iom and El-yoni will then have the
same signification. He is the fire or the sun residing in the iom or
Ioni and starting out as creator and saviour of mankind. He is
therefore identical with Jonas (Jonah), with Oannes, with Okeanos,
who are the same mythological personifications [derived from the
same word yu or Yoni] and with all the Jona that we will find later
with the most diverse nations. I would state here that the etymology
of all these words was unknown until the present day.
CRITICISMS AND DISCUSSIONS. I33
El-ha-iom and the Sea-Deities.
I do not know whether the beginning of Genesis describing
the creation of El-ha-iom and his other peculiarities is lost, or if the
theogonic part is written intentionally in condensed terms for the
reason that the Jehovists wished to conceal a mythological fact that
seemed to conflict with their new theological ideas. The exterior
form of El, his personality, is not depicted as that of the other sea-
gods whom he resembles in his essence.. Indeed every sea-god we
enumerated bears a peculiarity that is characteristic of an aquatic
being, as he bears in his love for mankind a characteristic of man-
kind. The head is generally that of a man and the body and the
tail those of a fish.
It is natural that the Iom or the Joni being the liquor and the
fire residing in the liquor [El and Iom, Agni and Maya, Helios and
Thetis, etc.] the fish will represent the watering element and the
fire. Hence in all the cosmogonies the fish will represent the sun
and all the sungods will be in their own turn represented by the
fish. Indeed, we see all the saviours appearing in the form of a
fish. Vishnu became a fish to save the seventh Manu, the pro-
genitor of the human race from the universal deluge.
The Assyrians and Babylonians worshiped the fish Dagan repre-
senting the sun. The Talmud announced the Saviour under the
form of a fish. The earliest symbol of Christ was a fish, and he
himself is called a fish. Buddha is called Dag-Po or Fo, the Fish.
Jonah, lying for three days in the body of a fish represents the
winter solstice (from the 22d to the 25th of December) when the
sun is in the lowest regions. But in Jonah and the fish the same
mythical personification is divided into two, and such divisions are
frequent in all theogonies. They represent the various manifesta-
tions of the same natural phenomenon. — The fact that neither El
haiom nor Jonah nor Noah appears under the form characterizing
the Chaldaean or Greek sea-gods, as for instance Oannes or Okeanos,
brings the Jewish myth nearer to the Aryan source. Indeed, I do
not doubt for a moment that the myth of Noah was at first borrowed
from the Aryans, and that much later the Hebrews took a second
graft of the same account from the Chaldaeans. No doubt, there
are two variations of the same deluge-story in Genesis. Hence the
numerous contradictions. Struck with wonder by the similarity
of the Biblical and Chaldaean myth discovered in the cuneiform in-
scriptions, Prof. Friedrich Delitzsch did not push his investigations
134 THE MONIST.
to the last etymological and linguistic consequences. And the
names of Noah and his sons Cham, Shem and Japhet seem to me
as important as the deluge story itself.
Noah or Novach and Agni-Novich.
As far as I know neither the meaning nor the etymology of
the word Noah and that of the names of his sons have found a
conclusive or even plausible solution up to the present day. The
general acceptation that Noah means "who reposes" is not admissible
and conflicts obviously with the high mission with which Noah was
The true significance of the word may be found in the corres-
ponding Sanskrit term. The identical Sanskrit term for Noah or
Novach— the name read without the masoretic point-vowels — is
Navaja or Navika. Now let us see where Nava-ja or Navi-ka are
Nau or nava in Sanskrit means a ship, a boat, a vessel 11 ; Greek
vatis ; Latin navis ; old German nach ; modern German Nachen ;
Anglo-Saxon, naco ; Bav. naue.
Noah or Novach or the Sanskrit Novich or Nava-ja mean there-
fore the steerer of a boat, the pilot, Greek voii-Tij-s ; Latin nau-t-a.
The etymology of the word Noah appears so natural and so
simple that we are indeed surprised that no linguist has made the
But let us return to the myth.
One of the epithets of Agni is Agni-Novich, "Agni the pilot."
But Agni is Vishnu and we saw Vishnu in the form of a fish saving
the seventh Manu from the deluge. Now who is the seventh Manu ?
Another form of the first Manu, born from the sun, hence represent-
ing the sun. Who is Noah ? Another form of Adam, the first man.
When we open the book of Enoch we find this wonderful story
about Noah's birth : Lantech's 12 wife brought forth a child, the flesh
of which was white as snow and red as a rose, the hair of whose
head was white like wool and long (all the solar gods have long hair,
Samson, Phcebus, Hercules etc.) and whose eyes were beautiful.
10 Some scholars translate Noah "the consoler." They see the consolation
in the wine.
u The ark of Noah is called in Hebrew teba, without the masoretic points
tba or rather twa, the b being soft without dagash; Sanskrit twac from the
verb twac, "to cover" ; Latin tego ; Old German dekin ; modern German
decken; Lith., denjin, a bark, a peeling, a protecting cover. Bunsen derives
tewa from the Egyptian tba, a chest; tpt, a boat.
a Lamech, Sanskrit Lamash, "the bull," the emblem of the sun.
CRITICISMS AND DISCUSSIONS. I35
When he opened them they "illuminated all the house like the sun,"
and when he was taken from the hand of the midwife, opening also
his mouth, "he spoke to the Lord of righteousness," etc. We know
that all the saviours of mankind spoke immediately after their
birth. We know also that the fire is considered by the Hindus as
the first ancestor of mankind. There is no mistake: Noah, Manu
and Agni-Novich are the same mythical personification. They are
the fire or the sun residing in the water. The deluge may overwhelm
the whole universe, but Noah, the sun-pilot, starts triumphantly
from the waters. This allegorical solar boat-steerer has the same
raison d'etre in the Bible as in the Vedas, since the Biblical heaven
was made of water like the Vedic heaven — as we will see later — and
the sun starting in the morning from the waters under the firma-
ment, piles the whole day in the waters above the firmament.
Noah is the eternal solar pilot.
When we pursue our mythical investigation, we find in the
compound word nava-bandano (ship-binding) the name of the high-
est peak of the Himalayas (the Mt. Ararat of the Hebrews) to
which Manu is said to have anchored his ship in the great flood. 18
Shem, Cham, Japhet — Soma, Kam, Pra-Japati.
The analogy of the linguistic and mythological facts becomes
more evident, when we consider the sons of Noah, Shem, Cham,
These three sons, it is said in Genesis, became the progenitors
of the new mankind. Now let us compare them with the Aryan
progenitors Soma, Kam or Kama and Pra-Japati (corresponding
to the Babylonian Zorovanus, Titan and Japethostes) the three sons
of the Hindu ark-preserved Manu.
13 The Hindu legend of the deluge is as follows : Many ages after the
creation of the world Brahma resolved to destroy it with a deluge on account
of the wickedness of the people. There lived at that time a pious man, Saty-
vrata, (Saty-vrata is not a proper name, but an epithet meaning pious man.
Noah also was named a pious man) and as the lord of the universe loved this
pious man and wished to preserve him from the sea of destruction which was
to appear on account of the depravity of the age, he appeared before him in
the form of Vishnu and said : In seven days from the present time the worlds
will be plunged in an ocean of death, but in the midst of the destroying waves
a large vessel, sent by me for thy use, shall stand before thee. Then shalt
thou take all medicinal herbs, all the variety of foods, and accompanied by
seven saints, surrounded by pairs of all animals, thou shalt enter the spacious
ark, and continue in it secure from the flood on one immense ocean without
light, except the radiance of thy holy companions. When the ship shall be
agitated by an impetuous wind, thou shalt fasten it with a large sea-serpent
on my horn; for I will be near to thee (in the form of a fish; Vishnu-Noah-
Jonah) drawing the vessel with thee and thy attendants. I will remain on
the ocean until a night of Brahma shall be completely ended. Etc.
I36 THE MONIST.
Kam or Kama, in Sanskrit, means: "he who follows the dic-
tates of passion or desire." Kama is the god of love, Hebrew
Cham, 1 * "hot," substantive "heat, ardor." He represents the neces-
sary heat for fecundation and generation, that is for Soma and Pra-
Soma represents the sacred liquor (of libation and fecundation)
and the god himself. Soma means "to distil, to extract, to sprinkle,
to generate," the act of pressing out the Soma juice being compared
to the act of begetting. (Sura, the sun, represents also the spirituous
liquor.) Soma is therefore the life-giving god, the generator of
mankind as Shem is said to be.
Pra-Japati, lord of creatures, was an epithet originally applied to
Savitri, Soma, Indra and Agni (all these gods represent the fire or
the sun and are therefore generators), afterwards he became the
name of a separate god presiding over procreation. Pra-Japati is
Noah himself is said to have been a wine-grower. In a moment
of drunkenness he uncovers his body. The nakedness of his father
amuses Cham and he calls his brothers to see it. Noah curses Cham
and makes him a servant of Shem and Japhet. This malediction has
a natural significance. Love is the slave of passion and desire. Cham
is the natural servant of Shem and Japhet.
Like Soma in the Vedas, so Shem is the most important of
Noah's three sons. The blessing of Noah cannot be understood in
any other way than this.
"Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem ;
"And let Canaan be his servant.
"God enlarge Japhet and let him in the tents of Shem,
"And let Canaan be his servant."
Canaan (Kamama) "the libidinous, the lustful," is the eternal
servant of the drunkenness of the senses, of passion and desire, of
Soma, and of the final act of procreation, of Prajapati who as we
saw is an epithet of Soma.
"Let Japhet in the tenth of Shem" signifies "let Soma be Pra-
japati," "let the sacred liquor of generation end in fecundation.
A hymn in the Rig- Veda, which is addressed to Soma, says :
"Where there is happiness and delight,
Where joy and pleasure reside,
Where the desire of our desires is attained,
There make us immortal."
CRITICISMS AND DISCUSSIONS. 1 37
And another more significant hymn says:
"Thou Soma, guardian of our bodies,
Makest thy dwelling in each member.
Lord of heaven! Though we transgress
Thy firm decree so often, be merciful
To us and kind and gracious."
"Soma, guardian of our bodies, dwelling in each member," is
this not Shem who with his brother Pra-Japati is the guardian of
the body of Noah whose nudity is mocked by the frivolous Cham,
the libidinous god of love?
This mythical allegory of the natural and productive forces in
action is, at least, nothing but a repetition of the first cosmogony
of Genesis. Noah is El-ha-iom. Both started from the sea and
both became progenitors of mankind. Like Noah, El curses his
creatures, the serpent, Adam and Eve, who are three different forms
of the same mythical personality like, at least, Cham is Shem and
Japhet, — they also were cursed because of their act of generation.
They were ashamed to be naked after they had eaten from the tree
of knowledge, like Noah was ashamed to be naked after he had
drunk the juice of the grape (of Soma, the sacred liquor of knowl-
edge, because knowledge in Genesis is the act of procreation 15 ).
The serpent is like Cham (Kama) the stimulation, that awakens
sexual desire; Eve (HWH, Hava written hve, any feminine or
coquettish gesture tending to excite amorous sensations) for the
purpose of procreation, Adam. This libidinous serpent becomes
the slave of Eve and Adam, like Cham became the servant of Shem
and Japhet. In all the mythologies the gods are jealous of the holy
fire residing in the sacred liquor that gives to mankind the knowl-
edge of creation. El-ha-iom forbids Adam to eat from the tree of
knowledge and punishes him for going beyond his prohibition, like
Jupiter who refuses the fire to mankind, punishes Prometheus for
having stolen it for mankind. But when the myth of Noah comes
directly from Aryan source 18 and is later adulterated with the Chal-
dasan story of the deluge, the myth of Jonah, although having its
root in Sanskrit, as we showed in another place, seems to be bor-
rowed directly from the Chaldaan Oannes, which in turn was taken
* There is no mistake, PJH is knowledge only in the sense of procreation.
p T>ni "inni mux nin nx mx m
"And Adam knew his wife Eve and she was pregnant and etc."
"The ancient temples of Hindostan contain representations of Vishnu
sustaining the earth while overwhelmed by the waters of the deluge. A rain-
bow is seen on the surface of the subsiding waters.
138 THE MONIST.
from the Greek Okeanos (aca or aka and yoni) inversion of Yan-
aka, the ocean.
Oannes, Okeanos, El-yoni, etc.
Berosus and Alexander Polyhistor ascribe the event of the crea-
tion to the teaching of an amphibious monster called Oannes. His
body consisted of the body of a man terminating in the tail of a fish.
By day he ascended from the waters of the Erythean Sea and con-
veyed his instructions to the assembled multitude in a human voice,
but at night he returned from the land and concealed himself within
the recesses of the ocean. 17
Berosus, no doubt, who according to his own report lived at
the time of Alexander the Great, borrowed the name Oannes from
the Greek Okeanos, whose etymology and Sanskrit origin we
showed above. It is the more easy to affirm this fact as Berosus uses
thalatta for Tiamat, and thalatta is the Greek Odkcuraa, meaning
As we see all these seagods are the same ; they are all teachers
of mankind. Jonah goes to Niniveh to preach, Oannes comes from
the sea to teach. El-ha-iom also is a teacher. He teaches Adam
what fruits he ought to eat, plant a garden for him, makes him
clothes, and so forth.
El-ha-iom, no doubt, is El-yoni, is Aka-yoni (Okeanos), is
Jonah, is Noah, is Oannes, is the Yona of the Gauls, the Jowna or
Jona of the Basques, the John of the Scandinavians, the old Yona
of the Trojans, the Yawna of the Parsis.
All these peoples worshiped the sun under the name of Jona
("born from the water"). Jona is the earth, the fish, the sun, the
first-born, the god started from the waters. He is the Biblical sea-
god, he is El-ha-iom voweled in the Bible either erroniously or in-
tentionally as Elohim and used as a plural without any plausible
O. Neufchotz de Jassy.
While making up the present number of The Monist we are in
receipt of a second instalment from M. de Jassy, which is to cor-
roborate his theory and adds more material of the same kind. Not
17 G. Smith, The Chaldean Account of Genesis.
CRITICISMS AND DISCUSSIONS. 1 39
being able to publish it here, we will at least summarize the ideas
which it contains.
As to the beginning of Genesis, M. de Jassy is inclined to
admit with Moses Gerundinus (Nachmonides) called by the Jews
"the pious teacher," that the words
sy??? n $ a 'S^D nx wry ?s xn? rvifrns
i. e., "In the beginning God created heaven and earth,"
may mean "In the beginning El-haiom created himself with heaven
The word bara is connected with the Sanskrit bhara, "to
create," the root of which, bhri, reappears in the English verb
bear, the German geb'dren, etc. The Sanskrit word Bharu means
Lord, husband, in the sense of procreator, as the Hebrew boreh is
used of Jehovah.
The word rakia 1 is referred to the Sanskrit rakyia or raka, a
flash of lightning, azure, crystal, firmament.
M. de Jassy believes that the Old Testament teaches a trinity
like the Brahman Trimurti, which he means to prove by the three
covenants. The first covenant is made by Elohim, or rather El-
haiom, the god of the waters, and is symbolized by the rainbow.
The second is the covenant of the burning bush which Ehjeh 2
makes with Moses. The name Ehjeh, according to the current
view, is the Hebrew word substituted for the four holy consonants
of the ineffable name Yahveh. 3 The sentence in Ex. iii. 14, "ehyeh
asher ehyeh," is translated in our English Bible by "I am that I
am," implying that the name Yahveh is derived from hajah, "to be."
M. De Jassy discovers in ehyeh the Sanskrit Ejeh, which is "the
fallen dawn," and he explains it as the fire that comes down from
heaven, viz., lightning. The third covenant is made between El
Shaddai and Abraham, El Shaddai being the destroyer who prom-
ises to preserve his protege Abraham on the condition of circum-
cision which is a partial mutilation. The word mula i (circum-
cision) is supposed to be connected with the Sanskrit mulya, "to
The passage (Deut. vi. 4),
Hear O Israel : the Lord our God is one Lord,"
receives a peculiar interpretation. M. de Jassy denies that it con-
tains any monotheistic idea, the word echad* meaning not only "one"
ijrp? 2 n-nx »mir 4 n'?ra onx
I4O THE MONIST.
but also "the first." The passage therefore may be translated, "Hear
O Israel, Yahveh our God is the first one [the first in the trinity]."
On the other hand M. de Jassy is inclined to see in achad (i. e., echad)
a similarity with the Sanskrit arhat, which is commonly translated
"holy," or with ahata, meaning "unsoiled" or "uninjured."
The phylacteries (in the Talmud called tephilin") which even
to-day the Jews tie to their foreheads and arms are little cases in-
scribed with the letter S* and containing scrolls. The name phylac-
tery indicates that they were for talismanic use, while the word
tephilin, "prayers," shows the nature of the writing and the method
by which the protection was accomplished. Now M. de Jassy claims
that these cases, originally called totophath,* can only have been
Shivaistic emblems of a phallic nature. The letter 5 is the initial
of Shaddai or Shiva, and the word totophath is identified with the
Sanskrit tattva, which means "real thing."
* * *
In reply to the editorial introduction to his article M. de Jassy
makes the following rejoinder:
M. de Jassy's Rejoinder.
The theory of mere "remarkable coincidences," as the editor
of The Monist denominated our demonstration at first sight, will,
we are afraid, prove a failure. We are proceeding by linguistic
proofs, and our mythological comparisons are geometrical congru-
ences. If objections are made — we do not fear them — they have to
be made in the same way and under the same conditions. Science
excludes casuistical conjectures and the old theological standpoint
is out of date.
Mr. Carus claims that Kabbalism has found many wonderful
"coincidences" in cipher-combinations! — That may be! But "com-
binations" and "conjectures" are not scientific proofs. That the word
echad (one) for example, gives the number 13 as the result of
cipher addition of its three letters
X = 1
n = 8
1 = 4
is a proof neither that this number is a holy one, nor that it de-
notes the trinity in the unity in the separation of the two digits 1
CRITICISMS AND DISCUSSIONS. I4I
and 3. The same thing is true of the further result of the letters
of Yahveh that give the number 26, i. e., twice the number 13.
* = 10
D = 5
1 = 6
n = 5
There is no plausible proof that Jehovah represents twice the
trinity in the unity and that Jehovah Echad, together expressing
in the Shetnah the Jewish monotheism, represent as an emphasis
three times trinity in unity.
When you continue in this way, the word El, "God," represents
three in one as well:
X = 1
5 = 30
and when you take the word lo, 9 i. e. "not," the inversion of El, 10
you arrive at the same cipher result:
? = 30
X = 1
But lo means "not" and El means "God." In this case God
would be nought. Such demonstrations are absurd!
These number-plays borrowed by the Jews from the Chaldae-
ans, who in their turn took them from the Persians and Hindus,
may amuse the childish minds of unscientific casuists. In such
combinations and conjectures "coincidences" may find their appli-
cation ; but modern philology and comparative mythology are based
upon other foundations.
When I am able to prove that the root R is the same as the
root R', as it was shown, for instance, in shad (the Hebrew root)
and shad (the Sanskrit root) ; when I can prove that the term T
is equal to the term 7" as I showed in Shadai (the Hebrew word)
and Shad-ja (the Sanskrit word) when, finally, I can prove that the
mythological facts which characterize the personalities represented
by these roots and terms are as identical as two geometrical trian-
gles, it is no longer lawful to speak of "coincidences" ; or when you
» X5 «> ?K
142 THE MONIST.
are speaking of coincidences, I accept them in their literal sense.
These roots coincide, these terms and mythological facts coincide,
because being the same, they cannot but coincide. Their point of
departure, the idea they imply, the phenomena that accompany them,
are identical, and they are based upon the same scientific principles.
Only in this way can I accept for my thesis the word "coincidences."
Alterum non datur.
A PRAGMATIC ZOOLOGIST.*
Andrea Giardina, in his recent work Le discipline zoologiche e
la scienza generate delle forme organizzate,^ takes occasion, apropos
of certain criticisms previously made by him regarding the regula-
tion of biological studies in our universities, to expound certain of
his ideas on the methodology of the various departments of biology.
One of his main criticisms concerns the persistence of the dis-
tinction made between the teaching of zoology and that of compara-
tive anatomy: a distinction which seems to him unjustifiable on any
count, theoretical or practical, and to be explained only on historical
"To within a century the term 'zoology' applied exclusively to
the study of the external forms of animals, and the best zoologists
bent all their efforts to a careful investigation of the resemblances
and differences of these outward forms ; and zoology, outside of its
bearings on the life and habits of animals, was a kind of compara-
tive morphology confined wholly or largely to the exterior aspect
of such organisms. Its main purpose was to elaborate a system of
classification for animals which should be as simple as possible.
The study of the internal organization, at first limited to man and.
those animals nearest related to him, arose chiefly as a result of
the needs of medical science and did not attain so early to the rank
of comparative morphology. The anatomists and naturalists who
turned their attention to the dissection of the lower animals were
few, and began perforce with the study of isolated forms. Anatom-
ical monographs were not, and are not, things lightly to be dashed
off: they took much time and labor; so that it was only gradually
that there was amassed a body of material comparable in richness
and variety with what was already possessed by zoology for external
♦Translated from the Italian by Herbert D. Austin. This paper appeared
originally in the Leonardo, Oct-Dec, 1906.